Sometime last week, @YukoFinnegan923 started following me on Twitter. A few days later, she stopped following me. Y U NO FOLLOW ME YUKO? I just now tried to find the account and it no longer exists. Fortunately, I took a screenshot of @YukoFinnegan923 from “Minneapolis, MN” while that cutie still existed. I already knew it was a spam account. That bit.ly URL still works and goes to mycheapjobs.com. The website offers an assortment of Internet tomfoolery, such as backlinks to gin up you search-engine optimization (SEO) results, sites with 1,000 Google +1’s built-in, Twitter accounts with 500 followers at the ready, etc. I’ve long been fascinated by the ways people are tricked by the Internet. Recently, Newt Gingrich’s hapless presidential campaign was accused of buying twitter followers. Gingrich’s campaign denied it. The former Speaker of the House got his 1.3 million followers legitimately, his campaign said. Some reporters and pundits also scoffed. But then a new a people-search site, PeekYou, claimed it had researched Gingrich’s Twitter account and found only 8 percent of his followers were human. Douglas Main at Popular Mechanics wrote an excellent piece about trying to figure out what number of followers anybody has are spam or phony. I decided to do a little investigating of my Twitter followers. More
In my last post, I said Google+ is what you make of it. So far, I’ve created an expanded Twitter. The people I know at some level and the people I follow are drawn almost exclusively from Twitter. A few are also friends on Facebook. My universe of Facebook friends is a hodgepodge collection of real-life friends and co-workers, old classmates, people I friended to interview for stories, people I met on MySpace who switched to Facebook (use your imagination), people I met from other online groups (such as Wonkette commenters), etc. My Google+ crowd is on Twitter, is tech-savvy, and smart. The quality of posting and commenting is very high. These folks also talk a lot about Google+, which I don’t mind, though some are feeling free to post animated cat GIFS and otherwise diversify their voice. I called My Version of Google+ an expanded Twitter because the people I know on Twitter are now being revealed to me beyond the 140-character limit. Especially for people I’m following, such as high-profile entrepreneurs and tech journalists, I am getting access to their thinking that was only available if they had some other outlet and linked to it on Twitter. With all that said, this means that these people are spending less time on Twitter. So my version of Google+ plus is cannibalizing Twitter. Every minute I spend on Google+ is a minute I would have spent scrolling through my fast-paced Twitter stream. I love Twitter and don’t want to hurt it. Xeni Jardin, an editor at Boing Boing, wasn’t so sentimental when she declared: “It’s official. I like G+ more than Twitter now.”
I’ve just had my first scare with Bitcoin, the virtual crypto-currency that I decided to dabble with. I bought 4.943 Bitcoins for $98 last week through the Mt. Gox exchange. I haven’t done anything with them since then, so they have remained at Mt. Gox in my trading account. I was scrolling through Twitter today and noticed a tweet from one of the Bitcoin-related accounts I follow warning of a hack at Mt. Gox. The site had a message posted saying all activity has been frozen after someone had $1,000 worth of Bitcoins stolen. Here’s the fun part: More
The last time I used Photobucket a few years ago, it was basically an image-hosting site. You uploaded a photo, grabbed the HTML or IMG code, then posted your photo at some forum and forgot about the original file. On Wednesday, Twitter made public what had been rumored for a few days: It would offer its own photo and video sharing – “powered” by Photobucket. ZOMG. The last time Photobucket was a big deal, Tila Tequila was the Queen of MySpace. Or so I thought. In fact, Photobucket has remained a player, with 8 billion total uploads as of last December. That’s 3 billion more than Flickr. For a while it was owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. Now it has hitched its wagon to Twitter. Photobucket recently launched a mobile app called Snapbucket, which has Instagram-type filters. I tried it out and the burger photo above is the result. Overall, Photobucket is a very functional image- and video-sharing service. As I described in my last post, I use an assortment of sharing services for Twitter. I like diversity and competition, so I don’t plan on giving them up. But if the simplest option for sharing pictures is inside Twitter itself, there will be a rough road ahead for outsiders.